Standing in the gap: Bishop's message on the grand jury decision

November 25, 2014
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The prosecutor and grand jury in Saint Louis County have spoken in the matter of Michael Brown’s shooting death, but theirs is hardly the last word in this tragedy. These past hours have heard many expressions of broken trust in the system. Some expressions have been violent, to my anguish and disappointment. But many more have been peaceful and a sign of hope.

Our Church and our Diocese have responded throughout this crisis in many ways: with prayer, through providing material aid, in opening our doors to offer places of safety, and by finding various and courageous ways to stand in the gap. In the face of so much broken trust, the gospel demands for the ministry of reconciliation will require us to stay in that uncomfortable gap. That means that we can expect to become agents of Christ’s reconciliation. But it also means that, with our haunted pasts of racism and its current reality, we will ourselves need to be reconciled. That may prove the harder part.

In consultation with many others in our Diocese, I hope in the months ahead to marshal available resources, both for us to become better reconcilers—and also to be reconciled. All for the sake of Jesus Christ, who is our Peace and through whom we are being reconciled to God.

Wayne Smith
Tenth Bishop of Missouri 

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Need more information? Contact Beth Felice, diocesan director of communications

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